The Wordsmythe's Weblog…

…On Words, Love and Life

£161 million and counting…

Last week, a British couple won £161,653,000.00 in the Euromillions lottery making them Britain’s biggest ever winners. After about a week of deliberations and deep thought, they decided to go public with their win as they didn’t want to lie to their friends and family. Bad move! Just yesterday the media reported that the couple have gone into hiding to escape the avalanche of ‘begging letters’ which have since been pouring in.

When it was announced that a single ticket had won that amount, Mo Cushla and I discussed what we would do if we won. Never mind the miniscule detail that we hadn’t actually purchased a ticket so were not even remotely in with a real chance of winning!

Undeterred, we apportioned, distributed, gave away, invested, set up trust funds, paid off debts and the children’s private school fees, travelled the world, bought a bigger house, changed our cars, reapportioned, redistributed and still had loads of money left which we decided would be put in some deposit account and live off the interest. In all of the plotting and planning the spending of our millions of pounds we hadn’t actually won, one thing we both agreed  and were unequivocally convinced about was that we wouldn’t go public with our win.

How do you announce to the world that you are suddenly £166,000,000.00 richer and not expect to have people hound you for some of it? As sure as night follows day, you can expect to have a few hundred letters from people making their case as to why they, too, should be beneficiaries of your overnight windfall. After all, they reckon they are only asking for an infinitesimal part of your very large winnings.

Much as I had dreamed and fantasized about being in possession of the Weirs winning ticket, I am thankful I am not in their shoes now. What a complete tragedy to have all that money but very little freedom to enjoy it in the way they deem fit! Sad indeed! I feel really sorry for them.

However their experience further cements our resolve not to go public in the event that we find ourselves coming into a large sum of money. In the meantime, I hope things settle down for them soon so they can begin to enjoy all the possibilities that their winnings can open up for them.

What would you do if you won lots of money? Go public? Keep it quiet?

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17 thoughts on “£161 million and counting…

  1. Just goes to show that money is relative – the more money the more relatives; and vice versa

  2. CityDiva on said:

    😀 Great response Pam ! Am willing to bet both their family trees are going to grow into great forests before the end of the year. I would not go public with the iformation. They must have been up in the clouds on maximum strength adrenalin when they decided to go public. Methinks the lotto company will have encouraged them also? To help generate interest and anticiaption for future draws? Like you Wordsmythe I would quietly solve problems both at home and abroad

  3. Joxy on said:

    Go public ke? Neva! The only clue might be that I would go unlisted. Why on earth anyone would want publicity beats me. And as for UK based Nigerians, you are just begging to be kidnapped on your next visit back home. Neva!

    • And Joxy, pray tell whatever happened to the ‘er’ in ‘never’? I didn’t receive the memo saying it had been changed to ‘a’ or are you just trying really hard to wind me up?

  4. When we heard that the couple went public…my hubby and me laughed…saying that NO Naija would do that. LOL

    Well, if I got that amount of money I would never go public…not only because I would fear for my own safety, but because I wouldn’t want my kids to become lazy and think that there is no need to work.

    I wouldn’t even tell my own kids!

  5. Hahahahaha…I’m loving Pam’s response. Money is relative – the more money, the more the relatives. That’s classic.

    And Naijamum is right…no naija person would ever declare they won that kind of money. With all the witches and wizards, real and imagined pursuing a naija blooded person, it’s not even possible to go that route.

    I wish the couple good luck though…they are going to need lots of it now that privacy is out the door!

  6. njide egbuna on said:

    I also felt sorry for the couple when I heard they had gone into hiding. I have always maintained that only me , myself, I and of course God will be privy to any sudden riches. A few years ago I read an article on the lonely and sometimes troubled lives of lottery winners. You know money can never buy happiness or contentment. Reminds me of the old adage: more money more trouble.

    • Njide, it is true that money can’t buy happiness but it can sure come close! 😮

      Seriously though, a lot of people who come into wealth suddenly are miserable because they squander it on worthless things and the people who surround them don’t really care a whit about them but are there for the money.

  7. If you don’t mind my saying so; whats there to feel sorry for the Weirs about – is it the fact that they have in their hands what millions of people can only dream about? The weirs need to get over themsleves, start opening and reading the mails, and start sharing the money! Infact, if you know their address, send it to me so I can put my own “begging letter” in the post! Lol!!

    Seriously though, they can’t possibly spend all that money in a lifetime, so to help others with it is the right thing to do. And even if they decide not to give away a penny of their money, thats also fine, just so long as they quit acting like victims. To my mind, all they needed to do was call their family around them and tell them the good news (no need to lie to the family I totally agree!) But they decided to go down the path of popping Camelot’s bottle of Winners’ Champagne, garnering tons of publicity thereby, and now they dare to complain???! Pur-lease!!!!!!!!!!!

    But, to answer your question: if I did win, I would do exactly as you and Mo Cushla have planned to do – every single one of your plans, I fully endorse! However, a thought just occrrued: if you guys decide to keep it quiet, how will I know to send you my begging letter now??!!!

    • TupenceWorth Clara,

      We feel sorry for them because inspite of their many millions (which they couldn’t possibly spend in several lifetimes) they are now find themselves in a most uneviable position. They are going to have an extremely difficult time deciphering which requests are genuine and which ones to help. They will be hounded all their lives.

      They could still have helped others without necessarily going public. There are ways and means. Unfortunately, they have relinquished their rights to privacy.

      As for knowing when to send your begging letter, don’t worry about it. In the rare event that I come into such a fortune, all of my friends will…Oh I can’t tell you now, as that would be like going public! 😮

  8. Have you never heard about the ‘curse of the lottery’?
    As much as I would love to have loads of money, I don’t think I’d like to get it that way. LOL

  9. I probably wouldn’t go public and I certainly wouldn’t wait for letters to come in before I start helping out family and friends. 161 milla is ALOT of dough! You can help out alot of people even with just a tenth of that. I’d tithe, invest, give some to charity, church and the rest…well…let’s say we’ll just go as the Spirit leads! 😀 The truth is this- if you’re unsure about who you are, Whom you serve and what your life is about and what your priorities are then you’ll go made with that dough!

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